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Soundtrack review: Dead shack (Humans – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Dead shack (Humans – 2018)

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It’s shaping up to be a pretty good weekend for shy 14-year-old Jason. He’s driving up to a cottage in the woods with his brash best friend Colin, Colin’s older sister Summer and their father/step-mother duo of Roger and Lisa,Things quickly take a turn when Jason, Colin and Summer spy on their neighbor’s cabin where they see a woman drugging two local ‘bros’ and then feeding them to her undead husband and kids. With a shotgun-totting psycho determined to keep them quiet, her slavering zombie family focused on eating them, and party-drunk parents who won’t believe them, it’s up to Jason, Colin and Summer to arm themselves, toughen up, learn to work together and bash in some zombie skulls before they become their freak-of-a-neighbor’s next family dinner. Goonies meets Evil Dead, “DEAD SHACK” is a dark comedy oozing with gory action. The score was written by Humans.

Humans are an indie-electronic band and even if this release is just a short EP I was curious to listen to it. Of course when you have a band that like to experiment the result is something at the border between film score and vocal music; there’s always a debate related to vocals on a score and in the case of a cue like “Got dumped don’t care” the sarcastic French vocals count as just another instrument to compliment the simple, arcade like electronic sound. The French element continues in “French riviera” which is written in, well, that French sound of comedies that I grew up with, jazzy and carefree, a sound which carries a lot of nostalgia for me. Once again there is a male voice singing something in the background, humming more but this fits since usually this sound of 70s or 80s comedies had a female voice humming and “la la” ing. I like this cue.

The more I listen to the score the more I feel it has very little to do with the story as it’s presented in the PR blurb; there’s no horror, nothing scary or tense so I imagine the movie has some comedic elements as well. “The split” is the first quieter, more atmospheric cue which creates a darker mood but still it’s not frightening, it’s reflective and ambient, just the way I like it. “The dead” is finally where the composers make their mood a little more menacing; retro electronic ambient is probably my favourite genre so I cherish every minute I can get of music written like this; Humans definitely know how to evoke the 80s dark synth vibe and nostalgia rides high for me with this score.

If you enjoy electronic ambient music this score is for you just as it was for me, regardless of the movie.

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 11 / 26

Album excellence: 43%

Highlights:
04 French Riviera – HUMANS
05 The Split – HUMANS
06 The Dead – HUMANS

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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